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Forged in fire season 8 casting call!!!!


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They only ever had the one international competition, I know they interviewed a few South Africans but they haven't been on to the best of my knowledge.

 

It appears they've increased the difficulty of the challenges and the reduced time allotted, especially in the 2nd round, not crazy about that.

 

What I do appreciate is there's been some very young guys with serious skills on the show in recent episodes.

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They don't pay the smiths. They give them mystery steel (or at least they used to, haven't watched in years) and then the smith's reputation gets hurt if they guess wrong and  use the wrong quench. I've heard that (at least in the first couple seasons) the shop was very dangerous, with no ventilation. 

 

I've had multiple calls/emails from them and I've turned them down every time. I don't begrudge anyone who goes on the show, and it has been good in raising general interest in our craft, so those that teach bladesmithing have a lot of eager students now. But, I think anyone who signs up should go in with the clear view that you're swimming with the hollywood sharks. They see you merely as a means to an end, and they don't care if your career gets ruined in the process. If you go in with a mercenary view, and play their game hard, I think it might be a useful tool in marketing your blades, but do not make the mistake of thinking these people are your friends. 

 

 

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i think the judges are dishonest but the show worked great for them, and thats what mass produced knives for ignorant people is all about. 

 

i always figured a liar will lie about the quality their work and all bad knives will break under normal use

 

they dont test a blade to see if it works, they try to break it, they hold it wrong on purpose. guess what, a differentially hardened katana is going to bend when you purposefully apply a side load to it. 

 

congratulations forged in farts, you figured out that katana is the worst sword 

 

its a real shame that walter sorrels lost his round to knife abuse, it might have had an impact on his knifemaking, he went all tactical but i think he should have stayed with the japanese stuff. maybe the show isnt what made him make that change but it was all around the same time.

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Not that I'm going to change anyone's ideas about FiF, but as a show alumnae, I can say from my experience and from nearly all of the alumns I have spoken to, you're wrong.  Yes, their intent is to make TV, and they make pretty good TV.  I've seen them up close.  The testing is as fair as they can make it, they're not out to hurt the reputation of anyone.  I agree the tests are outrageous, but the fact that good makers can make blades that survive tells you where the edges of the craft really are. 

With the exception of Doug Marcaida, all of the judges are first class makers who deeply respect the makers who come on the show.  If you don't like the show, don't watch it.  I have found that my time on the show made me a better maker.  Do I test all of my blades by chopping through beef leg bones?  No I don't.  Can I make a blade with good fit and finish and good handling that will do that?  As a matter of fact I can.

Many high end makers have not won their episodes.  I think that being a maker like that (myself included) actually makes it harder to play the game.  I am glad I finally decided to accept the invitation to go on the show, I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

 

Respectfully

 

Geoff 

Season 5, Episode 25 (or 26, it depends)  The Sengese  

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Ja....seriously don't get the negativity, pretty sure it made a few careers, and I would like to hear of any that it ruined.....won't be holding my breath.

 

Impractical and unlikely as it might be I wanted to take part, but watching the last part of Season 7 changed my mind, they've increased the general difficulty to the point where I don't feel skilled enough.

The Beat the Judges episodes were simply impressive, and you won't hear my complaining about getting to watch my betters do some amazing work in a very short time.

Also really enjoyed the last few "forging games" episodes, really creative way to bring strategy into the game, found it very entertaining.

 

There are many past participants that I would not be upset to see in action again, even a 3rd or 4th time.

I do still learn from this show, and the better the participants the better for my entertainment and my motivation.

 

And I do not get the problem some have with the testing, make some allowance for human error.

 

17 hours ago, steven smith said:

 

its a real shame that walter sorrels lost his round to knife abuse, it might have had an impact on his knifemaking, he went all tactical but i think he should have stayed with the japanese stuff. maybe the show isnt what made him make that change but it was all around the same time.

 He's one of those I'd like to see back for another try.
I watch most of his videos, have done for years, and I get the impression he's just moving from challenge to challenge, and tactical folders is his current challenge.

Remember he started down this road by wanting to write a book on the subject..... 

 

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I know a couple of FIF winners, Geoff and while they both laugh at the theatrics of the show, they both agree pretty much with what you've posted.  Both have been on it a couple of times and highly respect the judges.  One thing I've observed, though is they both "moved on" and never watch the show any more.  Seems guys of my skill level like to watch it and those of you in the "mysteriously advanced realms" of knife making seldom watch it.  It has brought a plethora of new blacksmiths/bladesmiths into our fold, and for that I'm thankful.  I have a very high respect for the individual who holds a command of hammer and anvil.  Originally, they built everything used to make a living or live life itself.  The respect they deserve was well earned.  I've talked with many old blacksmiths who lamented there was a time the trade and skills were die-ing out.  FIF, if nothing else, has fanned the flames (no pun intended) of the resurgence of new blood.

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Well, I admit I have only watched one episode, and only spoken with one smith who had a bad experience, so I'm speaking from a place of ignorance . . . which I should probably not do. I still believe they should compensate the smiths. They are making an enormous amount (one assumes) from the hard won skills of those they put on the show.

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While I don't disagree with you about monetary compensation Dave (especially in the final round of the normal show while the smith is back at his home forge), one might say that the smiths are, in a way, already being compensated.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but expenses to, from, and during the tapings are covered, so it costs no money directly out of pocket to compete.  While an individuals time definitely has value, it's a rare smith that can expect to recuperate a living wage when you break costs down into dollars per hour spent on a blade.  On the flip side, the exposure given on the show, even if you don't win, can be almost priceless.  For many smiths it has resulted in an increase in both orders and selling price of blades.  If taken advantage of properly, that can easily become a fair trade for a few days worth of time away from your shop.  In the end, I think every smith will end up with a different experience.  Unfortunately we all we all know from first hand experience that you can never make everyone happy.

 

Whether FIF is good or bad for bladesmithing as a whole is a completely different question.  That topic could be the subject of an entire weekend's worth of friendly debate (over multiple cases of beer :D).

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I think the Beat the Judges episodes are very instructive.  I feel like it's a Master class, edited down to an hour.  Ben Abbot is a master at time management.  And that's what it really all about.  I got time bound and made a decision that cost me the final.  But it's like I tell people, if I get into a tough spot on a build at home, I take a break, get a sandwich, or work on something else while I figure it out.   When you are on the clock, you can't do that.  I don't know that it's made a great deal of difference in my sales, but it hasn't hurt.  I got recognized by a random stranger just the other day (which feels good) right after my episode replayed.

I think the show has been good for the community, in that more people know about us and what we do.  I'm not in competition for tools, so the new guys paying too much for anvils doesn't hurt me.

Geoff

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It's good to get different perspectives on Forged in Fire. A few years ago, I got a spam email as well to see if I wanted to participate. As an amateur who only has a few hours every weekend, it did not make any sense for me to consider. However, even apart from that, I do not believe that Forged in Fire portrays the essence of the craft. What I enjoy about bladesmithing is my ability to focus on just what I do: working in my shop, using my tools and my process. I also like to work safely with proper ventilation, proper safety equipment and without seeking the thrill of just barely having avoided a major injury.

 

I don't want to be self serving but in my humble opinion, the videos I produce portrait the nature of the craft much more accurately.

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Thanks for the level-headed assessment, Geoff!  That's pretty much what I've heard from the other guys I know who've done the show.  

 

Niels, that's kind of my reason for not wanting to do it.  That, and I do not perform well under pressure.  Although, I probably could've won the coal forge episode...  ;)

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In my case, I'm glad not to have been given a coal forge, though I have worked in coal, it's not top of my skills list.  I was disappointed not to have made the final (they could have picked any of us to go out) but I'm not sorry to have missed the Sengese.  It would have been a huge task to build a forge to make such a thing, and in the end, I'm pretty sure that the historical examples were never weapons.  I believe they were objects of status and wealth.  Both of the finalists pieces failed, and in much the same way.

Still, it took me out of my comfort zone and showed me some things, good and bad, about my skills as a maker.  It was a positive experience, and one I would repeat, give the chance.

 

Geoff

 

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